'No change' in travel plans of visitors from Singapore

This weekend's planned rally by Malaysia's electoral reform group Bersih in Kuala Lumpur does not seem to have affected the travel plans of those heading there from Singapore.

Travel agencies and coach companies said customers have yet to raise concerns related to the rally.

Singapore's Ministry of Foreign Affairs has also not issued any notice against travel to the Malaysian capital.

Mr Joe Lim, president of Singapore's Express and Excursion Bus Association, said coaches do not travel through the vicinity of Merdeka Square, where the rally has been scheduled to take place.

Therefore, the journey is unlikely to be disrupted, he said.

The ongoing Hungry Ghost month is also usually a lull season for travel to Malaysia, said Mr Lim, the executive director of Konsortium Express and Tours. "If we didn't read it in the newspapers, we wouldn't have known a rally was taking place," he added.

ASA Holidays said flight bookings to Kuala Lumpur are as usual.

Previous Bersih-led street protests in the capital - there were three between 2007 and 2012 - had turned chaotic.

In 2012, riot police fired tear gas and chemical-laced water into the crowds, after several of the more than 25,000 demonstrators broke through a cordon to Merdeka Square.

In 2011, police fired water cannon and numerous rounds of tear gas into the crowds, sending protesters running for cover at the Puduraya bus station, the historic Central Market and Petronas Twin Towers.

This weekend's rally is expected to draw tens of thousands of protesters. Similar events will be held simultaneously in more than 50 cities worldwide.


This article was first published on August 28, 2015.
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